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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:03 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
I think some of these comments are slightly misleading, not intentionally. It takes muscular development: there's just no way around that. ... So a beginner on the flute--me, about 1.5 years in--has to develop those muscles and develop them to the point where it doesn't feel like work anymore.

If anyone's misled by my input then they're reading me incompletely, because I think I've been pretty clear. I've already said that effort is part of the learning process, but when you discover the relaxed embouchure, you realize that all that previous effort and development curiously bears no discernible relationship to it. I don't think that there's any way for most people to go through the process without the preliminary effort part - and without a teacher, it's going to take most people a lot more than 1.5 years to get there. I'm not advocating that developing fluters stop their efforts at muscular development; I think it's an impossible proposition at any rate, because from the outset we can't normally conceive of any other way, so you might as well run with it, and it can serve you well, so if that's what you want to stick with, you're in good company. What I am doing, however, is assuring the reader that the relaxed embouchure is real, it is a possibility available to everyone, and it is worth pursuing, for by it you abandon effort, not habituate to it. There's quite a difference between the two, and I'm not deceived about this. It's not something you can force; you sort of fall into it, and when you do, you realize it's no mistake, but an improvement that serves you better than anything that came before it. Instead of work, it's a pleasure every time.

I think that effort and intentional development may serve to prepare the way toward the relaxed embouchure, but I can't say how this works, because since it means you end up abandoning all that, the equation is too subtle for me to follow. Perhaps it establishes certain patterns, but again, once I had the relaxed embouchure, all the previous methods went completely out the window because they were no longer relevant in any degree, so I can't say for sure what the connection is. But by all indications, you can't get there without making the effort anyway - unless you're a preternatural genius, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:57 pm 
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mendipman wrote:
cavefish wrote:
hey guys the great thing abouth this forum there is information beyond compare insights and such , for brothers and sisters finding a common bond , but as far as embouchure , in all honestly , is it safe to say it takes weeks months etc.


Hopefully you’re discovering a workable tone in months. From there on it’s helpful to think of your tone as a constant work in progress. It will improve but there’s no set timescale or ‘end point’. I like the use of the word ‘evolve’ above; because that’s what our sound does over time and with practice. That’s the creative exploration and journey we’re all on.

oh i have many so called "workable" tunes now, i have actually semi played flutes off and on years ago , but never took it seriously,at least not the art of "irish flute"which will take years
I played whistle, bagpipes ,saxophone, made NAF and bamboo, but i am still a beginner/novice,(comparing myself with you gentlemen),, on speed on the flute this will take time , as all things good do, , but now i have some professtional irish flutes, my study tunes include, Dark slender man, monaghan jig, looking at a rainbow through a dirty window, Dear irish boy, parting of friends , morrisons Etc. there is so much out there its wonderful and its all personalized, , i have been on this forum for years, but actually just got back into the action,,, work load and life has taken the place of fun, :boggle: , now i am getting older 58 and am slowing down, anywho,, you friends has been great help and many have been influences on my ornamentation techniques, as well as the the pros, vinnie kilduff, seamas egan, spillane, heaton, bergin, etc

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:12 pm 
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andrewtoml wrote:
Well, I guess I agree that embouchure is the main issue here. The wooden flute I play is boxwood, and to me it plays better and stronger once it has soaked up some dampness. There's a free video by the formidable Emmanuel Pahud on "Flute Position and Embouchure" (https://www.playwithapro.com/video/artist/emmanuel-pahud) in which he addresses much of what folks here are writing about. It's great; each time I watch it I get something out of it. I've been playing flute for almost 50 years now, but each day is a new, and happily, progressive experience with embouchure.


I actually bought this package, which is not that expensive when you consider the price of a 1-hour private lesson with a qualified teacher. It's full of good advice: some of it is more useful for classical players of course, but most of it applies to the flute in general, and even the lesson on vibrato contains valuable information. The video on intonation is alo available on youtube, somehow.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:02 pm 
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gwuilleann wrote:
andrewtoml wrote:
Well, I guess I agree that embouchure is the main issue here. The wooden flute I play is boxwood, and to me it plays better and stronger once it has soaked up some dampness. There's a free video by the formidable Emmanuel Pahud on "Flute Position and Embouchure" (https://www.playwithapro.com/video/artist/emmanuel-pahud) in which he addresses much of what folks here are writing about. It's great; each time I watch it I get something out of it. I've been playing flute for almost 50 years now, but each day is a new, and happily, progressive experience with embouchure.


I actually bought this package, which is not that expensive when you consider the price of a 1-hour private lesson with a qualified teacher. It's full of good advice: some of it is more useful for classical players of course, but most of it applies to the flute in general, and even the lesson on vibrato contains valuable information. The video on intonation is alo available on youtube, somehow.

this guy is good, , but yes it is mostly for concert boehm, he is good

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:32 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Ok


Also odds are your embouchure is getting weaker because the muscles are getting tired. Flute is hard


There’s a lot of truth in that response. That’s why they recommend that when you start learning the flute, you start off with a half an hour of practice, and you don’t try to do hours of practice. Your diaphragmatic breathing will not be trained well yet, and you’ll run out of steam. That happens to me even at seven months into my training. I am able to do long tones better now, but there are times when I run out of air and I need to take a break.

On the other hand, I’m 63 years old and a former smoker of 40 years, who quit back in 2018!

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:21 am 
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well i have a D flute and a F flute, i have been bouncing around, i need to focus on 1 flute, the F flute is easier, theni will go to the Eb,, my D i am selling

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:17 am 
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Sounds like a little bit of fatigue. Give yourself a break and go again. Also, no harm in bouncing between the F and D flutes. It just takes time to develop the strength and stamina. You'll get there!


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:07 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I've already said that effort is part of the learning process, but when you discover the relaxed embouchure, you realize that all that previous effort and development curiously bears no discernible relationship to it. I don't think that there's any way for most people to go through the process without the preliminary effort part - and without a teacher, it's going to take most people a lot more than 1.5 years to get there. I'm not advocating that developing fluters stop their efforts at muscular development; I think it's an impossible proposition at any rate, because from the outset we can't normally conceive of any other way, so you might as well run with it, and it can serve you well, so if that's what you want to stick with, you're in good company. What I am doing, however, is assuring the reader that the relaxed embouchure is real, it is a possibility available to everyone, and it is worth pursuing, for by it you abandon effort, not habituate to it. There's quite a difference between the two, and I'm not deceived about this. It's not something you can force; you sort of fall into it, and when you do, you realize it's no mistake, but an improvement that serves you better than anything that came before it. Instead of work, it's a pleasure every time.

I think that effort and intentional development may serve to prepare the way toward the relaxed embouchure, but I can't say how this works, because since it means you end up abandoning all that, the equation is too subtle for me to follow. Perhaps it establishes certain patterns, but again, once I had the relaxed embouchure, all the previous methods went completely out the window because they were no longer relevant in any degree, so I can't say for sure what the connection is. But by all indications, you can't get there without making the effort anyway - unless you're a preternatural genius, of course.


I agree to a great extent, mainly because "effortless mastery" is characteristic of all "practices" from judo to dance to music. Also, because I can see glimpses of what you describe in my own playing. I'm not always consistent, but when I am "ON", everything is so easy and effortless. I also agree that you don't see this at 1.5 years; I'm approaching 4 years, and each week/month/half-year I still see major improvements.

I disagree when you say it is not through physical effort or training or muscular development. It is certainly that - as it is in any "practice". The effortless part has a lot to do with both muscular training and fine motor control. Is control the same thing as physical effort? Partly, but I'd say you need both.

I've made some of my most dramatic improvements just recently after 3 1/2 years by playing exercises on the higher notes (B, C, C# D). Play loudly - play as quietly as possible. Long tones - high; long-tones low. I can testify that this work does take effort. Lips get tired, and I lose tone; come back the next day, and maybe I can play longer; a week later.... Wow! my low register is suddenly really strong and (as you say) effortless.

I come from teaching dance for 25 years where I see the same thing.

It takes effort as you try to get your muscles to do what you want. With practice, you eventually achieve fine motor control, and (as you point out), suddenly everything is so easy. I'm a good teacher and am able to help people speed the process, but it still takes a lot of repetition, maybe even the famous 10,000 hours. I will also say that "wrong" practice can slow down the process. Maybe a good teacher is merely one who helps you avoid haring off into the woods.


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:08 pm 
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tstermitz wrote:
I disagree when you say it is not through physical effort or training or muscular development. It is certainly that - as it is in any "practice". The effortless part has a lot to do with both muscular training and fine motor control. Is control the same thing as physical effort? Partly, but I'd say you need both.

I get what you're saying, and I fully agree, but I think my unfortunately less-than-ideal wording may have led you to misconstrue what I'm trying to get at. Let me try to be clearer: I'm not denying the importance of training. The purpose of training is to get you to the point where all is effortless; you can't get there any other way. What I'm categorically denying is the mistaken belief that effortfulness is, and must be, the way forever. Some people confuse the effort of training with the end product itself, and they cling to that belief thinking that they just need to get stronger, and stronger, and stronger. The problem is that neither they, nor anyone else, knows what "stronger" really means in this case; in embouchure, there's a physical limit to how much strength the lips have and can express. In trying to be "stronger", they really only experiment with different rigidities. I fell into this trap myself, and that's what I'm talking about when I say that the old effort-centered ways become irrelevant. I think it's very important for the teacher to remind the student that training is prefatory to something yet to come, and I think it serves the student best to remember this too: that while what they're doing works to whatever degree, there is a horizon beyond their present preconceptions. Still, the process must be gone through all the same.

Just as with the story of the seven blind men and the elephant, there are many ways to talk about this, because there are many aspects to any whole, but none of those aspects are, or even describe, the whole thing itself. There's a saying about one aspect of the process of learning and mastery: The student accumulates; the master discards. Good one, isn't it? The unsaid but implied thing here is that we all accumulate in some way, but knowing what to discard, and being able to do it, is probably the most important. Maybe you realize and discard a counterproductive detail in the way you do something, or you discard what has proven to be a misconception as you grow, or you discard a particular timing because it's served its course and now a different way needs to be pursued. There's always going to be stuff to shed or let go of as you advance. But if you cling to old ways because you're personally invested in all the sweat and effort you put into your achievements, you'll be stuck. Paring away unessentials is the most concise way to put it, but recognizing unessentials is not always easy. The good news, though, is that this stance can be put into practice at any level of mastery, beginner or otherwise.

tstermitz wrote:
I come from teaching dance for 25 years where I see the same thing.

I suspected something of the kind. :)

I've been a teacher of a not-entirely-dissimilar discipline myself, and one thing I've learned is that whatever your pursuit, the fundamental principles of the process of learning and mastery are the same all over.

tstermitz wrote:
It takes effort as you try to get your muscles to do what you want. With practice, you eventually achieve fine motor control, and (as you point out), suddenly everything is so easy. I'm a good teacher and am able to help people speed the process, but it still takes a lot of repetition, maybe even the famous 10,000 hours. I will also say that "wrong" practice can slow down the process. Maybe a good teacher is merely one who helps you avoid haring off into the woods.

I would agree with all of this, especially the last sentence. You might have authority, but a good teacher isn't there to be a Pooh-Bah; you're there to serve.

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